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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sex Is Not The Important Thing (1994)

by Michael Aluna (from 'Panfidelity part 4' by Michael Aluna, Green Egg magazine vol 27, no 104, Spring 1994)

It is highly probable that sexual activity, indeed the frenetic preoccupation with sex that characterises Western culture, is in many cases not the expression of sexual interest at all, but rather a search for the satisfaction of the need for contact.
• Ashley Montagu
While lovers may naturally relate more deeply and honestly than friends, genital sex is by no means necessary for genuine community! Indeed, presently, given the religious and cultural anti-sexual conditioning most of us experienced growing up, genital expressions of friendship within community may be counterproductive, at least initially. The most important element in an intimate love which is inclusive, rather than exclusive, is "loving physical touch" or "physically affectionate pleasure", not genital stimulation. For many people in our culture, this will mean giving and receiving body massages, without being genitally sexual or erotic.
Most of us Westerners tend to see sex as a substance, as some-thing we do. We have sex or make love. And like other substances, we are quite easily addicted to sex. Our experience is radically different from the tribal experience of sexual love as a natural expression of one's relationship to the land, the community and the cosmos. We need to be patient with ourselves, and with each other, as we look to the future, trusting in the ongoing process of Life. Let us each move in the direction of that form of inclusive, intimate love which is most appropriate for us, being true to ourselves and faithful to those with whom we are in a relationship.
Moses, though he had led the Israelites for forty years through the desert, was himself only able to see the promised land, not enter it. So, too, given our personal issues, temperaments, and life situations, some of us may be able to envision a tribe-like panfaithful community without being able to fully experience the sexual dimensions of it ourselves. That's OK. We can still contribute our energies to the cause. The deep ecology approach to life is for the long haul.
As Jim Dodge, a deep ecologist and bioregionalist said, "Most of the people I talk with feel we have a fighting chance to stop environmental destruction within fifty years and to turn the culture around within 800 to 1000 years. 'Fighting chance' translates as long odds but good company, and bioregionalism is obviously directed at people with a little gamble in their blood. Since we won't live to see the results of this hoped for transformation, we might as well start it right, with the finest expressions of spirit and style we can muster, keeping in mind there is only a functional difference between the flower and the root, that essentially they are part of the same abiding faith... The sun still rises every morning. Dig in."
How will the man of tomorrow live his sexual life? Will he have won greater inner freedom? Will he have destroyed the tyranny of genitality and replaced it by a more discrete form of eroticism, more widespread, more communicative, permeating all relationships?
• S Jaime Snoek
We are highly - perhaps instinctively - conditioned to express the energy genitally once it becomes 'sexual'. But from another perspective what we call sexual energy is actually a mode of attention. If we free our attention out of the genital dynamic and remain present for energy, something else begins to happen.
• Richard Moss, 'Nurturing Community'
Multipartner relationships are inherently more complex and demanding than monogamous ones. Consequently, strength derives from overcoming the kinds of obstacles and hardships pioneers have always faced. The challenges of exploring new ways of relating intimately are no less demanding than those faced by the intrepid explorers who sailed over the edge of a supposedly flat world.
• Deborah Anapol
There is a great need for domestic pioneers in our day - people who are willing to risk exploring new models of marriage, family and community; new models of faithful, loving intimacy. The extended family, with several generations living under one roof, characterised American society until early this century, when economic change forced the crystallisation of the nuclear family comprised of a wife, husband and their children. The nuclear family, generally considered the basic unit of American family life, has been the firmly established norm for the past fifty years or so. Now it, too, seems to be passing. This is to be encouraged, as its side-effects are a nightmare for the planet. The isolated nuclear family may be the least sustainable, most expensive and ecologically destructive form of human social organisation that ever existed.
We must create sustainable communities or die. It is that simple. It seems likely that nuclear families will soon co-exist with multi-adult living groups, or intentional extended families. Such "expanded families" or "pods" will consist of networks of intimate friends who may or may not live together, and for whom the possibility of sexual involvement with each other is open. Monogamous couples, as well as those who choose to be celibate, will happily co-exist within this context.
If the potential for outside sexual intimacy is accepted by couples who recognise the need for such input on a variety of levels, then the pleasure bond becomes the real cement for a new society.
• Robert Francoeur

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